Having survived a pretty hot summer, no one is looking forward to cooler weather more than me! Only drawback is that many of us become less active in colder weather.
It’s understandable because we generally like to be comfortable and stay where the warmth is – which is usually inside!
That’s not a problem, so long as we’re staying active; but, when we stop being active in the fall and winter, and we don’t adjust our eating habits, we are more likely to experience weight gain.
Then, factor in sweets from Halloween, heavy meals and leftovers from Thanksgiving and COUNTLESS holiday parties during December – with very little to no physical activity – and we end up wondering why our clothes don’t fit us at the top of the new year. Sound familiar? I’m speaking from experience so I know the struggle is real!
So, let’s reverse the trend and do our best to keep our bodies lean throughout the fall (and winter) months!
Here are 9 easy ways and ideas to help you stay active during the fall:
- Shop local Farmer’s Markets or go to a pumpkin patch! You’ll get fresh seasonal produce, support local and small businesses all while burning some calories. Plus, you get to sample and purchase made my locals that aren’t sold in stores yet. Just the other day I tried an apple-cinnamon honey and a pumpkin butter that made me love life again! Lol
Took my dog, Mad Max, for a walk then stopped by the local Farmer’s Market for some groceries.
- Adopt the habit of “keeping it moving!” Park in the back of a retail parking lot or try taking the stairs instead of the elevator. The extra steps burn calories that add up at the end of the day. During my coffee breaks in corporate America, I’d walk around my entire office building. Sounds weird, but it really wasn’t! It cleared my mind and helped me escape for a few minutes. Very soon I had people asking to join me. So, who knows? You may start a trend!
- Join a fitness class or community sports league. Nothing like having like-minded people to motivate you to achieve fitness or wellness goals. Many believe that it “takes a village to raise a child.” Well, I firmly believe the same when it comes to achieving fitness goals – you can derive a lot of enthusiasm and inspiration, and even accomplish more, simply by working towards a common goal with others.
- Gamify your fitness by tracking it and challenging friends and family. I recently got a FitBit Alta from Kohl’s for this very reason. I wanted to better track my activity level and challenge my friends/family (in more low-impact ways instead of weightlifting) to stay active together. So far, so good! It even tracks my sleep which…yeah, I’m not the best in, but I try! Anybody else like the “taunting” feature within the app?! I’m a trash-talker too.
After walking to the Farmer’s Market with my dog, I stopped to check my progress towards my daily goal of 10K steps. If you anyone is up for a challenge, I’m fitmencook (at) gmail.com on FitBit!
- Spring cleaning in the fall? Why not?! If you consider the movements we make while cleaning – sweeping, mopping, scrubbing, dusting, washing, taking out the trash, etc – they closely resemble movements we would do in an exercise class. You’d be surprised to know the amount of calories we can actually burn when we clean our homes from top to bottom.
- Perform a HIIT cardio while watching your favorite TV/Internet show or the big game. We all have them – those shows/games we look forward to each week. The building could be on fire with alarms ringing in our ears and we STILL won’t look away from the television. As such, this is the perfect time to do some jumping jacks, push-ups, air squats, etc. It’s an easy and enjoyable way to burn some extra calories while enjoying your favorite show or game.
- Got a yard? Grab a rake! As a kid I participated in youth group at my church and I remember going to people’s houses and raking leaves to raise money for our activities. As a kid I’d be worn out when I got home so I can only imagine how I’d feel as an adult! This is a fantastic total body workout that you can do solo or make it a family/friends activity on a monthly basis.
- Go to the mall and walk around. I’ve gotta confess – I’m not a fan of shopping. At all. My girlfriend can attest that I’ve been known to find an empty bench while she shops and sit on it (or sleep – yes, I’m serious) while she tries on several outfits only to not like any of them…(#shade) But if you can be a better sport than me, walking around the mall is another way to stay active and burn calories. Just don’t make a pit stop in the mall cafeteria to buy a sugary treat!
- Get active in your local community! Grab the local newspaper and find a fall festival to attend or 5K to run. Around this time of year, there are plenty of these events and some are even volunteer based so you can serve your local community too. Ask a friend or make it a family activity because sometimes doing it with someone is more fun. There’s really no need to be stuck inside the house with so much going on.
Me: Good boy, Max. Now, will you smile for one more picture?